Really fun, COVID limited the experience January 11, 2022

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/29/2021 to 12/17/2021 with

CYA (College Year in Athens) - Semester/Academic Year Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained some language skills and I feel more comfortable exploring the city and just generally getting by on my own.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Some classes were more rigorous than others.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was really great and was always ready to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Really good apartments in the middle of the city and extremely close to the academic building.

* Food:

Options for all diets and all really good. There were definitely expensive places to eat but overall the general cost of food and groceries was pretty cheap.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt well-integrated but Greek culture and many people I encountered were definitely more conservative and racism was evident.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any serious health problems while I was there but they administration is pretty good at connecting students with affordable and easy options for healthcare. There was an on-site psychologist provided by the institution, however she was rarely there and was always booked, so it was not really an option.

* Safety:

It's a metropolitan city, obviously it wasn't the most safe place. Of course, you would rarely feel in danger if you walked around with friends and not at night.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I really liked the classes and professors at this program. I would say that it would be so much more fun without the pandemic happening at the same time, obviously.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

It all depended on where you went for travel and food, but you could \ live off $100/week if need be.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $90-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to the supermarkets for non-specialty items, however produce at the open-air farmer's markets (usually Fridays + weekends) is much cheaper. Eating out can vary, but there are very cheap tavernas and souvlaki places where you can get a full meal for ~$5.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Students were recommended to take a modern Greek class but it wasn't a big deal if you didn't. English is second language for a lot of Greeks.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Go to a cafe or restaurant/souvlaki place and try to only order with Greek. Covid did make it difficult to meet other young Greeks at bars/clubs but you can talk to people just at bakeries or cafes, too. There are also plenty of shops that sell magazines and books in the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Local travel
  • The food
  • Courses offered
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I should have packed rain boots. The occasional hard rain (during the rainy season) would flood the streets.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.